"We're honored by the confidence that the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund has placed in WaterPartners," said WaterPartners co-founder and Executive Director Gary White. "Their generous gift will lay the foundation for a major expansion of WaterPartners' work in Africa, and will also support the launch of an innovative new water project financing program in India. The result: many more lives saved and transformed through access to safe drinking water."
The project financing program in India is called GUARDIAN, and it represents a new chapter in the application of micro-credit for the world's poor. GUARDIAN will make loans to enable individuals to obtain connections to safe water systems and build sanitation facilities. WaterPartners officials believe that GUARDIAN is the first credit facility anywhere in the world dedicated to making water and sanitation loans to poor people.
The grant to WaterPartners, which also includes funds for villages in Ethiopia and expanding its scope of operations in Africa, is part of the Goldman Fund's clean water initiative. In 2007, the San Francisco-based foundation awarded a total of $3,470,000 to WaterPartners and five other leading organizations working with communities to deliver clean water and sanitation in developing countries.